Thursday, February 18, 2010

Do You Remember Me?

One of the reasons I set up this blog (and also why I link it to facebook), has to do with my students.  I hate to see them go.  I hate the limitations of a semester at a large university—you get to know these wonderful people for 15 weeks, and then most of them disappear into the university machine, never to be heard from again.  Facebook, my blog, and other internet connections have changed all that.  I can keep the connection going indefinitely (as long as students are interested). 

My ecofeminism and mothering blog and facebook profile are important platforms for extended teaching.  My students send me information about their activities and/or interests in environmentalism, and I post what I find interesting and important on the topic as well.  Rather than communicating solely through email—these more public venues allow for the communication to flow back and forth between many. 

It just tickles me when I hear from someone like Damion who writes, “I don’t know if you remember me, but can you help me find material on how toxics cause cancer?”

Damion is a gorgeous, ambitious and academically passionate young man.  No, I have not forgotten you, Damion.  Nor have I forgotten Sonia, who worked in the organic garden last spring.  She also wrote to me this morning. I distinctly remember her sunny face, and the splash of blonde hair tucked neatly behind her ears.  She had such an earnest interest in environmentalism and the ties to cancer.  After Sonia spent several days helping to establish a relocated organic garden last spring, she announced to the class, “I had no idea how much fun it could be to dig ditches!”

I rarely forget my students from my ecofeminism classes—probably because these courses break out of a traditional format and these kids are so engaged. Students create their own projects, bring in outside materials, and give powerful audio-visual presentations. The texts we read and view are complicated and emotionally wrenching. Many students have strong first hand and personal connections to the topic.  Unfortunately, all too many of them have known cancer in their lives, and they share those stories.  

These are unforgettable experiences for me as a professor.  

So, no, Damion, I have not forgotten you. 

Here are the links I recommend that you look at:

Here is the website that our 2009 ecofeminism class created:

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